Regular readers will remember that last year was a particularly difficult year for my family, namely my parents. So we decided to book a well deserved family holiday.
10 of us; Mike, myself, my Mum, my Brother Steve, his girlfriend Kate, my Sister Nicola, her boyfriend Dan, my two nieces Charley and Koran and my nephew Martin (my Dad and other brother Mike opted to stay at home in peace!) decided on a week in Spain at the Estival Park Resort in La Pineda.
We booked 4 rooms with an all inclusive package via Thompson’s. Making the booking was an hour long trauma for our sales rep Jenny; 7 adults, 3 kids, 1 wheelchair and special assistance, 1 cot and 1 pushchair – she earned her commission!
Our flight was booked at Luton for 5:55am so we had to get a bus at 1:30am, most of us had a brief nap before being picked up, but the lack of sleep would kick in later leaving us, grumpy and short with each other – even me – can you imagine such a thing!!
Luton Special Assistance were quite helpful, although some of their staff could do with a short lesson in manners and a rocket up their bottom!
Of the ten of us flying only four had ever been on a plane; I was intrigued to see how they’d all cope, annoyingly we were all split into different sections of the plane; as much as I wanted to see them squirm (how cruel am I?) they were all fine, even two year old Martin who thought he was on Buzz Lightyear‘s rocket; “To infinity and beyond”.
Estival Park is a three park resort; three hotels, six pools, three restaurants, three different show’s and bars to chose from every might. There’s an onsite kids club running 10am - 8pm, kids disco’s every night and fully equipped gym, tennis court and spa too.
On arrival we were put into three rooms and then realised that I, the one with the wheelchair had been booked into a 2nd floor apartment where there was no lift.
In the resort foyer there are two receptions one for the hotel and the other for the apartments, we spent a good 15 minutes having to walk between the two relaying messages regarding the apartment and moving into the hotel, instead of them having a phone conversation or God forbid walking to meet each other in the middle!! I was something out of Faulty Towers; the end result Nicola and Dan took the apartment in mine and Mike’s place – we could have told them that without the 5 miles back and forth!
Our rooms were clean, spacious and light; they were cleaned every day – the cleaning ladies were lovely and we used my nephew's charm to get extra tissues and shower gel!
At lunch we decided to head for the huge restaurant were the maître d' took one look at the wheelchair, pushchair and 10 people huddled together and said that he would have our own table booked every meal with a wheelchair sign on the table; and that they did, we didn’t have to queue at all and were able to eat together every meal time.
After lunch we braved the very cold outdoor pools but once in we enjoyed it, the trail blazers that we are once we got in so did a load of other guests; none of us died of hypothermia – bonus!
The resort was opposite the sea so after dinner we took a walk along the promenade and made our way to the beach; more excited than the three children my sister and I got in fully clothed before realising we had to get through the hotel reception sopping wet without being told off – the rebels that
By 9pm, everyone was dying on their feet so after a couple of drinks in the snack bar (there were only 7hrs between 11pm and 6am where there was no food available!) we hit the sack!